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U.S. Under-20 MNT Prepares to Face Egypt, Aims for First Place in Group D


U.S. Under-20 MNT Notes
Enschede, Holland
June 17, 2005

ITCHING FOR EGYPT: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team will be looking to secure first place in Group D on Saturday when they face Egypt in their final group match at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. local time/7:30 a.m. ET at Arke Stadium in Enschede, Holland. Fans can follow the match live on Fox Soccer Channel or online at ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. The match will also be broadcast same day tape delay on Galavision at 5 p.m. ET/PT and replayed at 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. ET on Fox Soccer Channel.

AIMING FOR FIRST: Despite having four points, the U.S. is not yet guaranteed a spot in the second round. A win or a tie over Egypt would solidify their movement to the knockout stage, and the U.S. can stay in the friendly confines of Enschede for their Round of 16 match if they are able to finish first in Group D.  After two games, the U.S. is tied with Germany with four points, but sits behind the former U-20 champion due to a lower goal differential (+2 to +1). The U.S. can guarantee to finish atop the table with a victory over Egypt coupled with either a loss or tie by Germany, who faces Argentina. If Germany wins, the U.S. could still finish in first, but they would need to stack up on goals against Egypt and hope Germany only wins by a slight margin to end up with a better goal differential. In what would be an odd twist of fate, there is still the small possibility that the U.S. could not advance to the second round. If the U.S. loses to Egypt and finishes with four points, which could be the cutoff for third place teams, the final decision would come down to goal differential. 
Group D - RESULTS / STANDINGS
Team   GP   W   L   T   GF   GA   GD   Pts.
GER      2     1    0    1     2      0     +2     4
USA      2     1    0    1     1      0     +1     4
ARG      2    1    1    0     2      1      +1     3
EGY      2    0    2    0     0      4       -4     0

Saturday, June 11
USA 1, Argentina 0
Germany 2, Egypt 0

Tuesday, June 14
Argentina 2, Egypt 0
USA 0, Germany 0

Saturday, June 18
USA vs. Egypt 1:30 p.m. local time / 7:30 a.m. ET (in Enschede)
Argentina vs. Germany 1:30 p.m. local time / 7:30 a.m. ET (in Emmen)

EGYPT NOT OUT: While Egypt sits with zero points after two games, they are not without second round aspirations. The Pharaohs need some help, but can still finish third in the group and secure a possible spot in the Round of 16. Egypt would have to defeat the U.S. and hope that Germany defeats Argentina by enough goals to give them a better goal differential than the South Americans.

MOVING DAY: The U.S. is sharing the cozy confines of the Best Western Dish Hotel with two new squads as Nigeria and Switzerland, who started in Emmen, have swapped places with Germany and Argentina. To ensure no team has an advantage going into the final group game, two teams in every group moved to a new venue. The move allows the two games in every group to be played at the same time, eliminating a team from being able to know the result between the other teams in their group, and thereby playing a certain way to guarantee advancement to the second round. The tournament schedule changed from two years ago, as the U.S. ran into just this problem when they faced South Korea in their final group match. In UAE ’03, Germany fell to Paraguay 2-0 in the match directly before the U.S. and Korea kicked off, providing Korea with the knowledge that as long as they didn’t lose by three goals they would advance. The U.S. took a 2-0 lead and Korea just passed the ball between defenders during the entire second half to make sure they did not allow another goal. The U.S., which knew they would win the group with the victory, didn’t need to press to win the ball back, making the final 45 minutes one of the more boring games of soccer at a WYC.

FIRST TO SEVEN: If the U.S. gets a victory against Egypt and ends up with seven points it would be the first-time ever that the U.S. finished group play with more than six points. The U.S. has finished with six points twice, pulling off the feat for the first time in Nigeria in 1999 (also under head coach Sigi Schmid) and two years ago in the United Arab Emirates.

FIRST ROUND BLANKING: If the U.S. can hold Egypt scoreless, it would be only the 10th team in the history of the FIFA World Youth Championship to go through first round play without giving up a single goal, and just the third time since 1993. The U.S. is not the only team poised to pull off the feat, though, as Brazil and Germany haven’t had to pick the ball out of their next through their first two games. The least amount of goals a U.S. team has allowed in a FIFA World Youth Championship is four, which occurred in Chile ’87, Australia ’93, Malaysia ’97 and Argentina ’01. 

CONCACAF LEADER: The USA’s match against Egypt will be their 39th match played in a FIFA World Youth Championship, giving them the record for most games played by a CONCACAF team at a FIFA World Youth Championship. The U.S. is currently tied with Mexico, who didn’t make the 2005 tournament, at 38 games. In the previous 38 matches, the U.S. holds a 13-20-5 record with 45 goals for and 55 against.

TALKING ABOUT EGYPT: Read what U.S. Under-20 head coach Sigi Schmid and players have to say the day before taking on Egypt in the World Youth Championship here in Holland. Click here for the quotes.

ALL_ACCESS VIDEO - RUN OR CLEAN: The U.S. players whipped on aprons and got a bit dirty in the hotel kitchen on Thursday as they had to clean up their dining area after lunch. The reason? A certain player who will remain anonymous was late for a team meeting and the entire team was going to have to run sprints at practice, but a deal was made that the team would instead clean up after a meal. Showing a good team unity, the players cleared and re-set the tables (including the purposely soiled staff table) and the buffet table, washed dishes and even re-filled the small refrigerator with bottles of water.  Join the team as they clean up after the coaches and bond with each other over pots, pans and plates by clicking here.

AUDIO DIARY PART IV: The always entertaining audio diary from the U.S. midfield duo of Benny Feilhaber and Sacha Kljestan has provided their fourth installment from the player’s hotel in Holland. Listen (by clicking here) as the two Californians relive their scoreless draw with Germany, how much they enjoyed the pro-U.S. crowd at Arke Stadium, why they had to clean their dining room and what they’re expecting from Egypt. Have any questions or comments for the midfield duo? E-mail them to bennyandsacha@ussoccer.org.

MAN CHILD UNLEASHED: During November of last year, Marvell Wynne was worrying about a starting spot for UCLA. Seven months later, Wynne is starting at right back for the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team during the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in Holland. The Poway, Calif., native is fast, strong, athletic and tough (his nickname is Man Child for a reason). A mild-mannered, fun-loving guy off the field, meeting Wynne on the left flank is equivalent to finding yourself in a dark alley with Mike Tyson. Marvell isn’t going to snack on your ear, but he will eat you up and spit you out before you even think about putting in a cross. Man Child sat down with ussoccer.com and talked about his journey to the national team, how the team is doing in Holland and just how he did get his nickname. Click here to read what he had to say.

SITTING ON YELLOWS: The U.S. has two players holding cautions going into the final group game. Eddie Gaven picked up a yellow in the first match against Argentina, while Marvell Wynne received his caution against Germany. The U.S. is tied for the third least amount of cards issued among the 24 teams, sitting behind Australia (zero) and South Korea (one). Egypt on the other hand, leads the tournament with eight cards issued, including two ejections. Mohamed Mahmoud will not play against the U.S. after receiving a red card against Germany for a two-footed tackle which broke Oliver Hampel’s leg. Abdallah Shahat, who also was ejected for receiving two cautions, will be available against the U.S., while Ahmed Farag, Abdallah Said and Ahmed Magdy are all carrying yellow cards.

IANNI TURNS 20, SZETELA 18: The Under-20s are getting their fair share of cake as two more U.S. player celebrated their birthdays here in Holland, making a total of four times candles have been blown out at a team dinner. Patrick Ianni turned 20 on June 15, while Danny Szetela turned 18 on June 17. Similar to Freddy Adu and Will John, both players received a cake at dinner as the rest of the team sang “Happy Birthday.” Similar to John, Ianni and Szetela also received gifts from the local Enschede children that have been coming to watch the team’s practice.

SPECTOR BACK: Jonathan Spector has been progressing from his injury and will be available for the next match against Egypt. The central defender suffered a small contusion to his thigh during the USA’s first match against Argentina and did not play against Germany.

ALL ABOUT EGYPT

THE SQUAD: Once a country that had made a habit of qualifying just once every 10 years (1981, 1991, 2001), Egypt has become more consistent with their third straight appearance at the FIFA World Youth Championship. The Pharaohs followed up their 2001 third-place finish with an appearance in the United Arab Emirates in 2003, where they were beaten by an Argentina overtime golden goal in the Round of 16, and are now be looking to get back in the top three.

HISTORY: The U.S. has only met Egypt once before in a FIFA World Youth Championship, falling 2-0 in the Round of 16 in Argentina ’01.

HOW THEY GOT HERE: In the African Youth Championship, the 2003 defending champions defeated Angola 1-0 in their first match before drawing 2-2 with Morocco. Needing a win to advance, the Pharaohs cruised by Lesotho 4-1 to secure themselves a spot in the final four and more importantly assured themselves a spot in Holland. In the semifinal, they were able to get by the Beninese hosts on penalties (4-1) after a 1-1 draw in regulation, but couldn’t regain their crown as Nigeria prevailed with a 2-0 victory.

TOP PLAYERS: Egypt’s top two players are Ahmed Ferrag, who was especially impressive during qualifying, and Mahmoud Abdelrazek, who dons the No. 10 jersey for the Pharoahs. Ferrag is a forward from FC Sochaux (FRA) and has netted numerous decisive goals, drawing the attention of clubs such as Manchester United. The lanky Abdelzarek has been impressive in the first two matches, displaying an ability to run at players with the ball in the attacking third and create chances on goal.

LAST TIME OUT: The U.S. has played Egypt once in the past two years, facing the Pharoahs in March in the Suwon International Youth Tournament in Suwon, South Korea. The U.S. won the match 1-0 to finish in second place in the four-team tournament that also included South Korea and Argentina. Despite the scoreline, the first half was extremely active with the U.S. and Egypt getting good looks on goal as the momentum swung back and forth. The U.S. was the better team on the day, but struggled with the final pass and didn’t finish well until Arturo Alvarez provided the U.S. with the game-winner in the 62nd minute, burying a shot from beyond the penalty area. For the full game report, click here.

- ussoccer.com -

 

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